Canadians Deny US a Confidence Booster

USA line up

Photo: Eric Guzman

USA 0 : 0 Canada

It was a frustrating night in Houston as the US Men’s National Team wasted a dozen chances in a scoreless draw against Canada on Tuesday night.

While the fans wanted a win, US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was more keen to see it as the culmination of the recent training camp:

“You can see the work they have put in the three weeks,” he said, “… it would have been nice to finish things off but unfortunately we didn’t do that tonight… but overall we were very happy with the way the players presented themselves.”

The USA named an all-MLS starting XI which, Klinsmann admitted had challenges:

“It’s always difficult when all you’ve had is training scrimmages,” said Klinsmann, “especially against such a well drilled Canada team.”

USA dominated the early going with Canada’s only long possession coming from the kick-off as the match quickly fell in to the expected pattern.

Despite that Canada had the first meaningful shot on goal in the sixth minute as Dwayne De Rosario was given space in the box and shot powerfully only for Sean Johnson to make a good save.

Chris Wondolowski had a god opportunity for the USA in the 10th minute as he worked around his defender well and crossed in to the box but sent his effort over the head of Eddie Johnson letting Canada off the hook.

Wondolowski was again wasteful in the 19th as he was put through of the Canadian defense with acres of space but rather than run at the keeper he shot from the edge of the area making it an easy save for Simon Thomas.

That it was not to be his day became evident after two more occasions. Another chance went begging in the 22nd minute as Wondolowski again missed an opportunity mishitting his shot making it another easy save for Thomas. Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi put in a good ball in the 28th minute but yet again the San Jose forward failed to do what was needed as he skewed his effort well wide.

The USA had a good shout for a penalty in stoppage time as Dejan Jakovic appeared to push Eddie Johnson but the referee disagreed ending a frustrating half scoreless.

A good opportunity fell to Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis in the 52nd minute after Eddie Johnson’s cross was deflected in to his path but he sent the shot wide, taking a touch for a corner.

Klinsmann lamented only having training scrimmagesPhoto: Eric Guzman

Klinsmann lamented only having training scrimmages
Photo: Eric Guzman

Johnson was the culprit again after Zusi put in a good ball through to the Sounders striker only for him to send a one-time effort well over the bar again letting Canada off.

A set piece gave the USA their best chance in the 67th minute as Benny Feilhaber sent in a perfectly weighted ball that Omar Gonzalez headed agonizingly over the bar.

Feilhaber’s addition proved to be a boost to the USA set pieces and another chance two minutes later saw the ball go out for a corner.

The chances kept coming but kept being wasted for the USA as Joshua Gatt made a great run from the left at the keeper but confusion up front lead to the opportunity going out for a throw.

The frustrating night eventually came to an end with the referee blowing full-time mercifully after four minutes of stoppage time.

Line ups:

USA — S.Johnson; Beltran (Gatt 46), Gonzalez, Besler, Morrow; Beckerman (Morales 74); Zusi (Bedoya 63) Evans, Davis (Agudelo 63); Wondolowski (Feilhaber 46), E.Johnson (Bruin 74).
Canada — Thomas; Ledgerwood, Attakora (Henry 62), Jakovic, Morgan; Dunfield (Stinson 50), Bourgault, Bekker (Porter 90); Ricketts, Teibert (James 88), De Rosario (Jonke 80).
Referee: Raul Castro (Honduras).


About Author

Steve is the founder and owner of Prost Amerika. He covered the expansion of MLS soccer in Cascadia at first hand. As Editor in Chief of, he was accredited at the 2014 World Cup Final. He is the former President of the North American Soccer Reporters Association/ Originally from Glasgow, he is a supporter of the Great Glasgow Alternative, Partick Thistle.

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